Jay Leno's Garage

PeterP

Member
I saw this the other day and thought it was pretty interesting. Basically, it's a fairly cheap 3D scanner you can put on your desk, which allows you to make 3D models of existing parts:

Jay Leno's Garage

One of the gentlemen in the comments mentioned scanning transmission parts and modifying them to improve performance, and that got me thinking.

One of the most expensive parts on our cars is the transmission, much of that due to rarity of replacement parts for it. I'm sure there is enough collective experience here to know what parts go bad and are tough to find. I emailed him and he said that while scanning the entire transmission would probably be cost prohibitive, individual parts would not be so bad. I suspect that with a good model of the parts we need, getting a gear or something made up at one of the places doing cnc milling would be doable.

Given that the supply of NOS transmissions is not getting any larger, this seems like an idea worth pursuing. What do you think?
 

Bilgemaster

Member
Thanks for the fascinating tip, Peter! Just for the record (and for
posterity via the List's archives in case the video below should ever
become unavailable), the manufacturer of the 3D scanner featured in
the video is a company called NextEngine (Contact: 401 Wilshire
Blvd., Ninth Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90401; Fax: 310-883-1860;
Email: info ["AT"] nextengine.com; Web: http://www.nextengine.com).

Also, on NextEngine's own website is a presentation about the
automotive parts reproduction process using this equipment that
mentions working with another company called Protocast in Chatsworth,
California as the end fabricator (Contact: 9732 Cozycroft Ave.,
Chatsworth, CA 91311; Phone: 818-882-7848; Fax: 818-700-8441; Web:
http://www.protocastjlc.com).

I imagine that anyone wanting to follow up on this to manufacture
hard-to-find Amphicar parts might get some assistance from the above
companies.

Thanks again, Peter!

Regards,
~Bilgey~

On Mar 5, 2009, at 1:20 AM, PeterP wrote:


> I saw this the other day and thought it was pretty interesting.
> Basically, it's a fairly cheap 3D scanner you can put on your desk,
> which allows you to make 3D models of existing parts:
>
> Jay Leno's Garage
>
> One of the gentlemen in the comments mentioned scanning
> transmission parts and modifying them to improve performance, and
> that got me thinking.
>
> One of the most expensive parts on our cars is the transmission,
> much of that due to rarity of replacement parts for it. I'm sure
> there is enough collective experience here to know what parts go
> bad and are tough to find. I emailed him and he said that while
> scanning the entire transmission would probably be cost
> prohibitive, individual parts would not be so bad. I suspect that
> with a good model of the parts we need, getting a gear or something
> made up at one of the places doing cnc milling would be doable.
>
> Given that the supply of NOS transmissions is not getting any
> larger, this seems like an idea worth pursuing. What do you think?
>
>
 

Ed Price

Member
I don't see any advantage in this system, unless you want to make plastic
gears. For a real gear or shaft or housing, all this system does is make a
plastic prototype. You then have to use the plastic part to make a mold,
cast some metal, and then clean up the casting. For gears and shafts and
other parts, you would need heat-treating or forging or grinding.

This whole system isn't any better than just taking a part and creating a
mold the traditional way. (Well, OK, maybe you can use software to replace a
missing gear tooth.) And just maybe the software can create a cope & drag
for a traditional mold, but it still would be in plastic. Not much sense in
pouring molten aluminum into that.

Now, when that printer starts working in something more durable than
plastic, then lot's will open up. I was reading about a "printer" that can
create 3D objects from aluminum dust welded into a solid by an electric arc,
but that's a long way from being shop-ready. And even then, that's only
aluminum.

I think you were hinting at reproducing things like transmission gears and
shafts. I suspect that the best way to do that, for a long time, will be to
do a measurement on a pristine part, and use an NC gear machine to do the
job. Expensive labor, expensive tools, tough overhead. 50-piece runs are
economic suicide. Making a batch of 1000 is better, but that might be a
multi-lifetime supply in the Amphi world.

Maybe the answer to the transmission issue is for someone to come up with
another vehicle's transaxle that can be made to fit the Amphi hull, and the
come up with a mount and power take-off for the props. Lots of potential
problems, but wouldn't it be great to use a VW Bug's transmission, with a
little help from a home-grown Adapt-a-kit?

As transmissions become scarcer (and I don't know how scarce that has to be)
the cost of a transmission might hit $20-25k. You can do a lot of adapting
for that money.

My hat's off to anybody who takes up the challenge of supplying new parts
into the Amphi market, it seems to me that there has to be more love than
dollars in it.


Ed Price
El Cajon, CA
USA




_____

From: Bilgemaster [mailto:]
Sent: Saturday, March 07, 2009 7:20 AM
To: edprice@cox.net
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20351] Jay Leno's Garage


Thanks for the fascinating tip, Peter! Just for the record (and for
posterity via the List's archives in case the video below should ever
become unavailable), the manufacturer of the 3D scanner featured in
the video is a company called NextEngine (Contact: 401 Wilshire
Blvd., Ninth Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90401; Fax: 310-883-1860;
Email: info ["AT"] nextengine.com; Web: http://www.nextengine.com).

Also, on NextEngine's own website is a presentation about the
automotive parts reproduction process using this equipment that
mentions working with another company called Protocast in Chatsworth,
California as the end fabricator (Contact: 9732 Cozycroft Ave.,
Chatsworth, CA 91311; Phone: 818-882-7848; Fax: 818-700-8441; Web:
http://www.protocastjlc.com).

I imagine that anyone wanting to follow up on this to manufacture
hard-to-find Amphicar parts might get some assistance from the above
companies.

Thanks again, Peter!

Regards,
~Bilgey~

On Mar 5, 2009, at 1:20 AM, PeterP wrote:
 
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